Oslo, Norway’s downtown goes virtually car-free


Oslo, Norway made its downtown practically car-free with notable positive results.

The city converted parking spots to bike lanes and added plants, tiny parks, and benches. Cars were banned on some streets, discouraging driving in the downtown.

Without cars, mass transit is more efficient, air quality has improved, and the streets are full of people. In 2015, the government proposed banning cars completely downtown, but resistance from merchants and others produced the alternative strategy of removing parking spots.

A few spots have been converted into parking for disabled drivers or EV charging, and some streets allow delivery trucks for a couple of hours in the morning. Most drivers have to park in garages on the fringe of downtown, and traffic restrictions prompt drivers who don’t need to go through the city center to take a ring road around it.

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